How to Clean Black Sludge in Bathroom Sink Drains

Drain Stopper

A common problem we see in many homes is experiencing a clogged bathroom drain. We get calls from customers experiencing black sludge appearing in their drains and having no idea where this disgusting, sticky, and smelly black slime is coming from. At first glance, this might be very alarming if you are experiencing this issue you are wondering how can this be possible when I have not put any of this material down the drain.

No need to worry, the black slime you are seeing is normal, it is created by a build up of bacteria living on hair, hand soaps, shaving cream, skin cells, lotion, toothpaste, and phlegm. The problem with this black sludge is that it will not go away by just pouring more water down the drain, and hoping for it to unclog itself from the water pressure.

Many customers try this method and only end up with standing water in their sink or bathtub. Continuous usage of your bathroom fixtures without clearing out the black sludge will only make the sludge and clog bigger because the sludge will continuously collect more hair, bath soaps, toothpaste and consumes the warm water hitting it.

Solution: Simple, it is time to clean your drain. You can do this by having a plumber come over and take care of this for you, or you can handle the drain cleaning on your own. We will try to walk you through the process and help you relieve the clog in your bathroom drains.

Clean Your Sink or Bathtub Stopper

clogged drain

You should wear gloves when performing this task because the gunk will stick to your hands. If you want to be even more cautious, you can get a breathing mask and goggles to prevent the gunk from getting into your eyes or breathing it in. Take out your stopper and you will notice the holes being covered with the black sludge that is causing your draining issues.

Removing the gunk will take some time but it should fix your draining issues in your bathtub, shower drain or sink. If you are still experiencing standing water when you shower or use the sink, then you have a second clog in your drains.

Reach For a Plunger

Block your overflow tube with a rag and use either a sink plunger or a regular plunger based on the fixture you’re trying to plunge. The black slime backing up into your sink can be caused by a clogged pipe so plunging it will remove the clog. After you are done plunging, go to your kitchen and boil some water in a kettle, once your water is boiling you can pour it down the drain.

If You Have a Drain Snake, Use It!

If you have a drain snake and know how to use it then, this method works very well in removing pesky clogs of black sludge from your drains. You can purchase drain snakes in most local hardware stores. If you are unfamiliar with this equipment, then you can call a local plumber to snake out the drain for you.

Clean Out Your Drains Using Baking Soda

Here are the steps to using unclogging your bathtub, or sink drain using baking soda.

  1. Boil a kettle of hot water
  2. Pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain – this breaks up fatty acids and attacks the grime. Give the baking soda time to settle in.
  3. Once the water has boiled, you can pour it down the drain
  4. Allow 10minutes for the baking soda and the hot water to do their magic

We do not suggest pouring bleach down your drain as it will kill both good and bad bacteria. Look for more natural based drain cleaners to fix your clogs. Enzyme-based drain cleaners work well. This method to remove the black slime in your drain can also be repeated once a month as a preventative measure against black ooze from occurring again.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Cedar Rapids is here to help the residents of Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Davenport, Marion, and surrounding areas with their drain cleaning. Call us today for immediate help with your home’s plumbing: (319) 365-6792